Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Parental Rights Up For Debate in NH

Needless to say, as a parent of twins, who are about to make the jump from pre-school to kindergarten, I'll be watching this debate very closely and letting my legislators know how I feel on this matter.

From (Channel 9, Manchester):

Parents Say They Should Choose If Twins Educated Together

Bill Would Give Choice To Parents, Instead Of Schools

CONCORD, N.H. -- State lawmakers are debating a bill that would allow parents of twins to decide whether the children should be kept in the same classroom or separated.

Several families testified Tuesday before the Senate Education Committee on the proposal, saying that they know how their children would function best in school.

"When they do start school, I want to make sure that we have the option, the choice," said Linda Hamada, a mother of twins. "They're still too young for me to know will they do better together or will they do better separate. But what I don't want is an arbitrary decision made by a principal who doesn't know my children."

Now, this should be a no-brainer, but as I've learned recently, some of our lawmakers up here have forced me to redefine that term.

My first thought, upon reading this article, was to ask:

Would this matter even be up for debate if the first paragraph in that article had read as follows?

CONCORD, N.H. -- State lawmakers are debating a bill that would allow parents of children not related to one another, but who happen to be very close friends, to decide whether the children should be kept in the same classroom or separated.

Because, I see no practical difference between those two scenarios, nor any compelling reason to arbitrarily assign twin siblings to separate classrooms.

School administrators should be allowed to offer their input on the matter, but unless the twins in question (or any two children, for that matter) are actually causing a disturbance in the classroom, thereby creating an environment in which other kids' ability to learn is affected, the decision of whether to separate the kids, or to keep them in the same classroom, should be made solely by the parents.

Sadly, there will be a handful of Granny-StateTM lawmakers voting on this matter who will profess to know what's best for my children and my family, and actively seek to take away my right to choose.

May they be the poster children for short-lived political careers everywhere.

UPDATE: From the Nashua Telegraph:

Parents of twins praise classroom placement bill

Chiming in from the wrong side of the fence...

...Department of Education lawyer Sarah Browning warned the legislation goes too far in giving parents decision-making power over the placement.

What??? Parents actually being allowed to make decisions concerning their children's education? Run for the hills! The apocalypse is drawing nigh!!!

"If you put parents in control, there would not be any dispute," she said.



"It doesn’t encourage a communication between the parent and the school district."

It doesn't outlaw any such communication, either, so FRICKIN' SCREW! It's the PARENTS who should be making the decision. My kids, my choice. Not the school board's choice. Not the principal's choice. And, it's certainly not some self-righteous "I know what's best for your family!" lawyer's choice to make.

Get it?

The bill would allow a local school board to overrule the requests of parents only if the placement would be "disruptive" to the school.

Exactly as it should be.

I'm having a real hard time trying to figure out how anyone with half a brain, and possessing an ounce or two of common sense, could vote against this bill.

I suppose it all comes down to the inescapable truth that there's a sizeable group of folks out there who have made it their life's mission to exert their power over their fellow citizens at every available opportunity, restricting their personal freedoms and forcing them to live as they see fit.

And, believe me, it matters not on what side of the political aisle they squat.

Fuck 'em all, I say.